A real apple is an apple that was grown locally, on a tree, and without the use of chemicals.


Foodiness™ enters the picture once pesticides, fungicides, edible food waxes and other chemicals have been used. That’s because they add toxins to the apple. Also, if the apple was grown on the other side of the country or the other side of the world and traveled far then it isn’t really in season where you live…foodiness™ allows it to appear as if it is. (The traveling also creates a massive apple-shaped carbon footprint along the way.) So a first-degree apple is still an apple, but it now has manufactured and altered elements to it that are definitively not apples.


Second degree foodiness™ is defined by an apple that’s been reconfigured or minimally processed in some way, such as a dried apple; baked or dried apple crisps; unsweetened applesauce or cider; or pureed apple baby food with no sugar. None of these are inherently “bad” things, they’re just not apples. They were apples, but through intervention they’ve become something else.


A third degree foodiness™ apple is achieved when the apple has been even further reconfigured, mass-produced, processed and sweetened. Examples include sweetened industrial applesauce or baby food; apple fruit leather made from real apples but with added sugars and flavors; yogurt with sweetened apple chunks; or apple and cinnamon instant oatmeal made with dehydrated bits of apple and a lot of added sugar. With third degree foodiness™ you still have products with apple qualities, but you also start to see things that don’t really need to be there and are actually “bad” for you as well.


Fourth degree foodiness™ happens when the original apple has veered perilously close to what we would normally define as “junk food”, but the association with an “apple” keeps it from being perceived as junk. Examples include pre-bagged apple “dippers”, which are chemically treated slices of fruit with caramel sauce, or baby treats such as organic apple-flavored “puffs” made mostly of white flour and sugar. Commercial apple “juice” drinks with added sweeteners or preservatives; “energy” bars made from industrially refined apple syrup; and synthetic-vitamin packed soy flour “power” bars with tiny specks of preserved dried apple are good examples. In each case the association with apples make the foodiness™ “apple” products seem to be much more nutritious than they are. Fourth degree foodiness™ apples are not overtly dangerous, but they are infused with additives meant to replace a real apple’s genuine sweetness with a souped-up, artificial, and no doubt, addictive, sweetness.


Fifth degree foodiness™ occurs when the additives listed on the packaging start to outnumber the apple itself. Fifth degree foodiness™ is a tipping point where the product is almost all non-food additives, and yet – because of the positioning with a real apple or real food – is still making a claim to be healthy in some way. Fifth degree foodiness™ foods are often presented as convenience foods that proclaim a superiority to candy bars or a cookies via a real-food element attached to them, in this case, apples. The examples are legion, and include: yogurt packaged in a squeeze tube that has been dyed, sweetened and flavored with apple juice concentrate but which contains no actual fruit; “fruit”-filled breakfast toaster pastries filled with a paste of made of corn syrup and juice concentrate; and “organic” apple-flavored fruit gummys. In each case the foodiness™ products are just junk in disguise. Although the conceit with fifth degree foodiness™ is that it’s
better than junk, the ingredient list – high fructose corn syrup, sugar, juice concentrate, ascorbic acid, sodium citrate, salt, mono and di-glycerides, cornstarch, guar gum, and methylcelluose – tell a different story. In fact, with fifth degree foodiness™, an ingredients list can read like something that was manufactured for industrial use – modified corn starch, yellow 6, turmeric color, blue 1, artificial flavor, red 40, BHT – rather than food.


Defined by its complete artificiality, Sixth Degree Foodiness™ occurs when there is no apple present at all, and any apple “flavor” is entirely artificial. Sixth degree foodiness™ products will use the word “apple” in the brand name and / or as a flavor description, thus aligning itself in the mind of the consumer with the real thing without any real association with apples at all. Zero-calorie apple flavored drinks; Star-Wars character shaped gummy green-apple candy “apple” snacks; and apple-cinnamon breakfast cereal are perfect examples. Years after the real apples have molded and been thrown away, 6th Degree Foodiness “apples” will still be edible, preserved for eternity in a cinnamon-toasty, sweetened apple-green heaven.

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